Work-based learning/co-op is an academic class where a student applies classroom learning in the workplace. Students are placed in jobs directly related to their field of study and work a specified number of hours over the semester in order to receive college credit. As the employer, you get a unique opportunity to evaluate the student's performance and contribution before making a longer-term commitment. Work-based learning starts at the beginning of every semester at Central Piedmont (August, January, and May) and is offered in over 40 programs. Please call our office 4-8 weeks prior to start the recruiting process.
Let our students' success contribute directly to your company's success.
Work-Based Learning Benefits for Employers
Participation in work-based learning allows you to introduce students to your company work ethic, requirements, and operation. You gain a competitive edge by having a strong role in the education of future full-time or part-time employees. It also gives you the chance to evaluate prospective employees before making a long-term commitment. Our partner companies also benefit by the opportunity to engage with students. By learning from each other, the college can better prepare your future workforce. Such ongoing and active partnerships help the college produce well-qualified graduates with relevant skills needed in the local workforce.
How to Get Started with Work-Based Learning as an Employer
Getting started is easy!
After partnering with Central Piedmont's work-based learning program, you will not be assigned a student. After you've done all the paperwork and once the position is approved by the Workplace Learning office, we market the opportunity to students and faculty in the relevant program of study. In order to participate, students must meet minimum GPA requirements, and have completed a specified portion of the curriculum prior to the work experience. Students also have to be recommended by both the Faculty Coordinator and the Workplace Learning office. Interested students then authorize us to send the employer their résumé. You will interview and select the student who you consider to be the best match according to the needs of your company. Once you select your student, we ask that employers provide students with a supportive work environment to put theory into practice. Supervisors help students develop three measurable learning objectives to learn over the course of the semester. In addition, providing regular feedback and completing the employer evaluation at the end of the semester helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Work-Based Learning Responsibilities for Employers
You may list the position as paid or unpaid, but we do encourage employers to consider listing a position as paid. Paid positions typically elicit a greater response from students. Certain programs of study that prepare students for licensure require work experiences to be unpaid. Employers should review the Department of Labor's fact sheet regarding unpaid internships in the for-profit sector (PDF). The Workplace Learning department cannot determine if a business is in compliance with the Department of Labor guidelines. employers are not required to provide work-based learning students with health insurance or other employee benefits. An employer is expected to comply with state laws regarding Worker's Compensation Liability Insurance, and to verify if their policy covers students/interns. Please review the additional policies for employers.
Occasionally an employer/student partnership does not work out. The Workplace Learning office makes every effort to resolve the situation. We encourage employers to contact both the Workplace Learning office and the Faculty Coordinator immediately if issues occur during the semester.
Work-Based Learning Policies for Employers
Policy on Harassment and Discrimination
Central Piedmont Community College is committed to the practice of equal opportunity and non-discrimination in personnel policies and intends that employees of the College and citizens of its service area shall be made aware of this commitment. All matters related to selection, compensation, benefits, promotion, social and recreational programs, and all treatment on the job will be free of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, genetic information, or any other legally protected classification.
Discriminatory harassment is any behavior by an individual which improperly singles out, stigmatizes, or victimizes an employee or student to the employee’s or student’s detriment because of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, or handicap. Discriminatory harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual and verbal harassment.
It is each employee’s or student’s responsibility to ensure that his or her conduct does not include or imply discriminatory harassment in any form. A participating Co-op or Intern of the College can report harassment or suspected harassment to the appropriate Faculty Coordinator, Workplace Learning Coordinator, Workplace Learning Director, or the College’s Director of Equal Opportunity. Participants may also want to familiarize themselves with the procedures for reporting and investigating harassment or suspected harassment within their company or agency of employment.
Specific classes require student accident insurance and the fee will be included in the student’s tuition. Coverage starts at the beginning of the term and stops at the end of the term.
Professional Liability Insurance
Participants enrolled in the Human Services programs of study must purchase Professional Liability insurance through Central Piedmont. Coverage starts at the beginning of the term and stops at the end of the term.
Employers are expected to provide Worker's Compensation Liability Insurance coverage, as applicable, according to state law.
Unpaid Co-ops or Internships
Co-ops or Internships may be listed as paid or unpaid. When for-profit businesses host unpaid Co-ops or Interns, they should follow the six-point criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor. Click here for more information. The Central Piedmont Workplace Learning department cannot determine if a business is in compliance with the criteria.
Federal and state law prohibits a student from collecting unemployment insurance after a paid Co-op ends.
Home-based business owners should contact a Workplace Learning Coordinator to see if their business is eligible to host a Co-op or Intern participant.